Newsletter – August, 2016

On My Mind
Analytics and big data techniques can help an organization identify and eliminate waste. For example, using sensors to monitor equipment efficiency; developing algorithms to predict equipment failures; and developing models to optimize processes, work flows, and networks. Alternatively, Lean techniques can help reduce waste associated with analytics and big data initiatives. Here are just a few examples of waste associated with information (data): collecting unnecessary information; entering information incorrectly; entering information into multiple systems; sending unnecessary messages; sending reports to people who don’t need them; making coding errors; writing inefficient code; storing information in hard-to-find locations; storing information in multiple systems; and waiting for the information system to respond due to system clutter. Lean projects can be launched to identify and eliminate information-related waste. Tools such as the value stream map and spaghetti diagram can be used to understand the current situation with respect to information flows. An organization can also apply inventory control practices to bits and bytes where it made sense. You can learn more about this topic by reading the research report on Quality, Analytics, and Big Data which is available on the RESEARCH page of this website. Best wishes using Lean to make your analytics and big data initiatives more efficient and effective.

Interesting Stories
“Don’t blink or you’ll miss him!” Usain Bolt—from Jamaica—will soon be competing in the 100 and 200 meter dashes in the Olympics held in Brazil. He is the current world record holder in both events and could become the first person to win both events at three consecutive Olympics. If you are interested in watching one of the greatest athletes in the world, then watch Ashton Eaton of the U.S.A. compete in the decathlon (ten track and field events) at the Olympics. He is the current world record holder and could very well break his own record.

Company News
The Eighth Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference will be held October 6, 2016 at the beautiful Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN. The purpose of the conference is to assemble experts from various types of organizations in a beautiful setting to learn with each other how to improve organizations from a strategic perspective. There will be twelve presentations each related to one of four themes: Strategy, Analytics, Innovation, and Lean Six Sigma. The brochure is available on this website.

Intriguing Reads
Who are some of the leading companies applying big data analytics and what have been the results? A new book by Bernard Marr titled, “Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results” helps answer this question. The author uses a common format to compare the big data analytics journeys of such companies as Google, Palantir, Walmart, IBM, Airbnb, Apple, and many others. This book provides a timely glimpse into the approaches, techniques, challenges, and results of those companies who are on the leading-edge of big data analytics.